MyCIMA

Newly Qualified salaries? 30-35k....seriously???

Replies : 28

Hi,

 Its all very depressing really. After studying all the way through my twenties, i am now 30 years of age and being touted by agencies for positions at around the 30-35k mark.

 

Is this what it has come to? Being a single income household maybe i should have worked that bit harder and become a pharmacist or a footballer!!!!!!!!!!

 A few years back a newly qualified was commanding 37k minimum + benefits! 

All is not lost, a bit of austerity drive and be entreprenuer

Dear CIMA member / finalist,

At this time round, is not the time to leave a job that pays GBP/USD40K and above.

Golden rule is new candidate who took up existing post in any company will earn lesser than his/her predecessor.

But if life challenges such, then work and save some money for 10 years and begin your own business from small scale onwards with proper precautionary planning at own risk.

Food business is always price inelastic & can break even provided with proper budgetary controls.

Good luck to you and beware of own risk.

 

 

 

It's tough out there!

I feel your pain. 

The market at the moment is pretty stagnant so people are lowering their expectations.  I finished my exams five years ago and have moved about a bit (geographically) but salary wise am pretty much where I was back as newly qualified.  In real terms I'm probably worse off. 

 I would never have accepted the salary I'm on now a few years back, it's not even in an industry I would have chosen.  I also had to push for the offer I got, it was the top of their salary bracket.  On the other hand I've now been here over 18 months and find that I enjoy the role.  I like to look on the bright side and think that at least it's possible to get a stable job as a management accountant which for many people at the moment wouldn't be the case!

Jobs

Crazyboi, Keep looking? Which location are you looking at London roles will definitely pay higher than that bracket. Just tell the agent the minimum your willing to accept and not to bother calling you otherwise. Remember employers will always have more and can typically pay 10% more if they believe the candidate is worth it. In my experience bigger PLC's generally have better overall packages in terms of salary, shareschemes, private medical and bonuses.

.

Some agencies are ringing up offering me £28k now...and i'm on 27k at the moment from being part qualified, they really don't seem to know what they are doing. 

 The thing is it's an employers market at the so they can afford (and need to from cuts everywhere) to offer less to everyone.

 Hopefully it will pick up but not seeing any signs of it at the moment.

Accountancy Job market not favourable for new entrants

Dear Dave,

In view of current economic climate, accountancy job market is not favourable to new entrants/newly qualified/passed finalist/CIMA students.

But all is not lost, keep the job, cut some expenses to live by and find opportunities and venture out with few good men( TOP GUNS ) and fly together.

Keep a low profile too. 

 

My opinion

Well once you stop flying (which is apparently the way forward), listen to Tony's advice. Agencies are really only looking for commission and you will be hard pressed to find an agent who is genuinley interested in you. Be tough with them.

I have been i your position and I know it's frustrating but the important thing is to keep plugging away and don't get down and don't settle if you wont be happy. There are plenty of opportunities out there despite some people's opinion.

Salaries in the future WILL Fall

Basic economics, demand and supply determine price via equilibrium - take for example food prices.  With draught, natural disasters, increased demand for basic food stuffs the price will rise and has done.  However, if there was a bumper food crop the price would fall.

Now take a CIMA student.  You have done all these exams over the years and have finally qualified only for CIMA to bring about 4 sittings a year.  This is good for future students as they will qualify quicker of course, however there will ultimataly be alot more qualified CIMA students and as such the supply would potentailly exceed demand thus driving down the salaries of such competent professionals. 

 

In order to get the best salaries then employers will look to those that have passed the majority of exams first time, and / or have a good degree from a reputable university - effectively classifying your own Cima qualification. 

 

Does eveyone agree that the 4 sittings a year is actaually not a good thing for the profession?  Be interested in your thoughts (ps Im an ACMA).

 

 

4 sittings?

Who dunnit wrote:

Basic economics, demand and supply determine price via equilibrium - take for example food prices.  With draught, natural disasters, increased demand for basic food stuffs the price will rise and has done.  However, if there was a bumper food crop the price would fall.

Now take a CIMA student.  You have done all these exams over the years and have finally qualified only for CIMA to bring about 4 sittings a year.  This is good for future students as they will qualify quicker of course, however there will ultimataly be alot more qualified CIMA students and as such the supply would potentailly exceed demand thus driving down the salaries of such competent professionals. 

 

In order to get the best salaries then employers will look to those that have passed the majority of exams first time, and / or have a good degree from a reputable university - effectively classifying your own Cima qualification. 

 

Does eveyone agree that the 4 sittings a year is actaually not a good thing for the profession?  Be interested in your thoughts (ps Im an ACMA).

 

 

 

4 sittings a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since when!? 

Sittings

CrazyBoi there are 4 sittings for T4 Sept and March on computer only and November /May.

I don't think it affects the profession. On my fails I used to hate having to wait 6 months.

CIMA Qualified Flood

A student could book 4 exams, do 2 seriously and just turn up for the other 2 and then do the retake 3 months later.  By doing this they fly through the levels and become qualified much earlier then those who had to retake every 6 months.

 

The result is that more students will become qualified, flood the market and remunerations will fall.  Only those with first time passes / good degrees from top unis will command the best salaries initially else employers will look towards the likes of ACA, etc.

oh well

Who dunnit wrote:

A student could book 4 exams, do 2 seriously and just turn up for the other 2 and then do the retake 3 months later.  By doing this they fly through the levels and become qualified much earlier then those who had to retake every 6 months.

 

The result is that more students will become qualified, flood the market and remunerations will fall.  Only those with first time passes / good degrees from top unis will command the best salaries initially else employers will look towards the likes of ACA, etc.

Well that does not bode well for me!!!!! 

Since i have a 2ii and have not passed CIMA first time.

My work experience is excellent though. 

God forbid i am still being asked about my degree. I barely remember anything about University.. 

 

Slick marketing has worked very well in Accountancy


Agree with Who Dunnit ... I have made the comment before that there are too many accountants. All the bodies allude to fabulous careers etc and that's true for some but for many it will be a mediocre career and a struggle to find a job or decent job if you lose one after say say the age of 40+   I've heard that ACCA are contemplating bringing in Exams on demand! It beggars belief the policies that the various insitiutes come up. One would have thought that they existed to serve their members but anyone believing that should seriously think again.... 

Quantity vs. Quality

At one time being an Accountant was held in the same esteem as a Doctor or Lawyer - however that was a LONG time ago if we are being honest. Too many accountancy bodies and a strategy of maximising membership numbers have served to devalue accountancy as a profession. This was the case long before the financial crisis but it is now much more apparent in these austere times.

B is correct in saying that for the vast majority it will be a mediocre career. In the current climate the marketing by the various bodies is simply setting false expectations.

Recruitment agencies are simply responding to qualified candidates with such paltry salaries because they know the current climate is very much an employers market and they know the numbers of accountants available looking for work.

If I was deciding on a career again it certainly wouldn't be this one.

 

 

Its a shame!!

I have only passed P1 so far, failed P2 4 times so leaving it and going onto F1. But it does seem to me, to be a lot of effort , pressure and stress in studying for something where at the end of it all, the rewards dont equal the effort put in!!.

Times have certainly changed and I do believe many moons ago, accountancy was a very highly paid profession, beacuse there were not as many about!!

These days every man and his dog seems to be going into accountancy, so employers can pick and choose and its all about cost savings to them. Dont employ newly qualified peter who wants 40k when we can employ paul at 20k.

There is a huge myth that once you pass CIMA you come out and hit the big books, not anymore. 20 years ago yes but them days are gone!!

I am on 23k at the moment and that will do me nicely. I would say though, I have a little boy and it is my duty to ensure he doesnt follow in daddys footsteps into a career that was worthwhile 30 years ago.

Doctors, lawyers study with the knowledge that at the end of it all they are in serious money. Accountants study more in hope than expectation im afraid!! 

I agree

Hi,

 I have to agree with all the above. CIMA seems to encourage you to sign up and exams and offering resits of resits of resits. Sometimes it really bugs me that individuals can resit a paper 5-6 times and still be part-qualified. I know people who still do CIMA exams even after 10+ years.

Seriously!

I'm actually very surpised by the attitude here.

Firstly, you can't expect to pass a few exams and have it all handed to you. Yes there might be more accountants around now but it's up to you to distinguish yourself. It's not supposed to be easy.

Secondly, I don't belive that multiple re-sits are a bad thing as long as the exams still remain to the highest standard. Some people are not good in the exam environment but are very good in the work environment.

You all need to remember that the grass isn't always greener. I personally have a couple of friends who are solicitors who work far longer hours than me and don't get paid much more than I do. Frankly I would rather leave by 6 most week days and get paid 10k less than my friends who are working till 10 most nights.

Perspective....


@ MG it's a bit more than distinguishing yourself from the competiton.....   In my opinion CIMA Exec (and the other prof bodies have sold out the current students/members)    CIMA had the opportunity to partake in a merger with other bodies in 2004 (including ICAEW). They withdrew from that process before it could get to a member vote... Whilst I have no desire to be an auditor (and most qualified ACA'a aren't!) this would have been in the best interest of CIMA members.....   As an FCMA based in London I am very annoyed to read job adverts (that's the polite way of putting it) specifiying requirements for ACA's over CIMA, ACCA etc...    I don't have an issue with multiple resits either ...I completed CIMA exams when one had to sit 4 exams at one stage or fail the lot... just don't admit that you've failed exams to a recuitment agent... (interpret that how you want). I have worked with a prize winner who had poor social/interaction skills and a senior manager who gave up studying but was a far superior accountant...   I am not au-fait with the marketing of solicitor/barrister careers but it wouldnt surprise me if it was much different to accountancy.... that point reflects a trend in the UK to overskill in numerous professions... get everyone to Uni... do Accountancy, Masters, MBA...... qualifications not needed to do the job...current high school students who decide not to go to Uni due to fees may actually be the lucky ones!   The point is that a professional body should have it's members interest at heart...CIMA doesn't.... I came across an article in PQ magazine last year which indicated a 30% increase in student membership.... mainly in Asia/China....   Any astute person would recongise that this is not a good thing for UK based accountants.... This simply means that more accountancy roles will be performed in Eastern Europe and Asia.... anyone who thinks differently is deluding themselves... this is also the case for basic transactional processing which more enlightened practices are farming out to India/Philipines etc...   I would encourage students/members in their mid 20's/30's to look around their finance departments and see what the average age of the finance personnel are.... I would suspect that in many cases there are not many over 50.... where are they then? Some will have willingly set up as MiP's or in other businesses ... but many will not or will have only gone that route due not being able to find a job in their 40/50's......     For the record... I am an FCMA, 41 who has worked in various blue chip companies.... so hardly over the hill.... (except perhaps in the eyes of the recruitment agencies!)

too many students!!??

Hi,

 Being from Asia I have to agree with the above comments. Colleges sells ACCA and CIMA qualifications sometimes until exam qualified but have no work experienced at all! So when they finally come into the market employment market, these students will need to command a lower wage than a fully qualified and experienced person. This depresses the wage rate for other qualified accountants. I would not be surprise when all accountants jobs just moves to Asia especially with communications getting easier.

 All I can say is, I just have to keep on with my exams, pass it in hopes to distinguish myself from the rest and pray hard that when I turn 70, there are still demand for accountants at a reasonable rate.

£35k; still above average for the UK

Given that £27k is about the average salary for a male worker in the UK, I'd be interested to know what people here were expecting to be paid.

And if accountancy was as restrictive a profession as the law, how many of us would be here?

Sorry, duplicated posting

And can't find the 'delete' key!

Newly Qualified salaries? 30-35k....seriously??? - YES

The CIMA annual survey, based on 2009, which is quite often shown on the right hand side of their forums shows the average annual salary for each of the different levels as follows:FCMA:  >£83kACMA:  >£54kSo based on this, and that their results were based on post credit crunch would it not be realistic to assume a starting salary of at least £43k for an ACMA, or a 20% reduction in CIMAs own findings?  Now look at newly qualified positions on the jobs board - you would be lucky to get over £40k, especially out of the London area.   Simple fact is there are too many qualified professionals out there and this trend is set to continue with the increased exam sittings each year.  

 

Population is increasing every year

Who Dunnit spotted the root of the problem.

Population is increasing and ppl are living longer.

Thus we find inflation, demand surpasses supply for goods but not for job market whereby economic contraction and recovery make fewer ppl stay  employed.

Be contended if you are confirmed staff, going for NEW JOB has higher risk of being redundant, employer can opt not to confirm probationary staff at will.

Have a nice day. 

 

CIMA Exec out of touch or don't care?

 

As Who Dunnit mentioned above, the salaries touted on this website are not average salaries for the UK and that is what CIMA is selling itself on. CIMA is not a religious vocation, I and many others did for it earning potential...end of. If doing CIMA means you earn close to the average UK salary then what is the point of doing it?

I'm sure there are many recruiters who make as much or significantly more than many accountants, now there's a thought. A nice line in sales patter, join after school or do a medicoree degree and then sell accountants off the shelf.... thankfully I see major fallout in this market in the near future as companies get smarter in their recruitment.

 I've mentioned this before but CIMA's No1 KPI is increasing membership. That is just plain crazy and totally out of touch. It shows a total disregard to the current membership/student base and is selling dreams to newly enrolling students. They even ran a sale/special on subs to keep the new students rolling in when people were presumably not signing up due to the economic crisis.

Competition in the market is fierce, it seems some CIMA students still do CIMA without a degree (nothing wrong with no degree). However my perspective based on roles advertised in London specify a degree. CIMA's answer a new over priced tie up with Manchester Met University. Why not a cheap alternative like the ACCA Oxford Brookes bolt-on? 

As I mentioned in a previous post an opportunity to merge was declined several years ago. It is the members who suffer from this. We as accountants know it often matters little whether someone did ACA, CIMA etc it is the calibre of the person and their experience, however the initial screening for new recruitment is often done with Agency Recruiters who (certainly in London) often specify ACA over anything else. I have seen roles that when advertised direct by end companies didn't indicate a preference over any accountancy body but when subsequently readvertised by Agencies became "ACA Essential"

Everyone knows ageism is rampant in the accountancy profession yet I never see this discussed anywhere by CIMA (or other bodies), why is that? I once read a letter by a member who raised the ageism point and the editor's comments was address it to the relevant agency dealing with such affairs... Oh please what world do these people live in? The collective power of the various professional bodies accountancy, law etc should be addressing this in their members interests... Until such time as something akin to affirmative employment for older workers is enacted (something like there is for ethnic minorities and disabled) then older accountants (late 30's+) will have a precarious career if they fall into redundancy at any point....

 I would strongly discourage anyone from starting accountancy today, the days of accountancy being a good career choice for the majority are long over.

wrist slashing

Blimey what a group of happy souls we have here! Three points:

1. Newly qualifieds might well earn £30k to £35k outside of London, but the majority of newly qualifieds are in there mid-20s  -if you do the three years of exams straight after uni. Given the average salary of £25k would be for someone of average working age e.g. 40, i can't help but think that earning £10k more, 15 years earlier works out pretty well...

2. In terms of an over supply of accountants, it is demand and supply. People embark on this course of study because of the rewards at the end of it.  If the rewards fall then demand will also fall, we haven't seen this yet.

3. I did a graduate finance program and started working about 10 years ago. Out of my colleagues who joined at the same time as me everyone is earning in the £50k to £100k range and all CIMA qualified. I've said this many times, CIMA is just one thing to possess on top of a good degree and relevant experience.

A low salary is more likely to be a reflection on bad degree and weak experience rather than any mismanagement of the qualification from the CIMA Board.

Another B

 

CIMA Exec; for once, not their fault

@who dunnit: for a start, the self-selected data supplied to any survey like CIMA's is likely to be incomplete as well as used "optimistically" and, no, I don't think it's realistic to assume that a figure of £54k based on people at every stage of their career and business-contribution equates to a starting salary of £43k. That suggests very little range of movement over a 30-year career and doesn't allow for exponential increases for senior positions carrying significantly more responsibilities.

I'd agree with PB's analysis and reasoning. + £10k - 15 years is a pretty good return after around four years of study. And it always intrigues me that people calling for limited entry to protect their professional position always seem to assume that THEY would have got in .... really?

It's tough for everybody at the moment, not just accountants, and a lot of people are finding their earnings are down considerably on 2009. I don't like it any more than anyone else but I do know one thing: it would be a lot tougher without the start that my CIMA qualification gave me. (And, as PB says, it *is* just a start.)

But, for different reasons, I do agree the profession should have rationalised itself a long time ago. 

Cheer up!

I can't beleive all of the doom and gloom regarding being CIMA qualified here. In London a newly qualified will get £40-£45k with a reasonable degree and work experience - outside of London I would expect £35k to be reasonable. With so many people being made redundant and unemployment so high, we should be grateful that with ACMA after our name we are still very employable even if it is for slightly less than we may have got 5 years ago.

The career opportunities following qualification are out there if you want them.  You can't expect to be paid a great salary for a bog standard accounting job of journaling entries with a bit of analysis - it's a glorified administrator role really that will just give you the fundamental skills you need - in response to the above comments that most people in accounting departments are young - it's because it's a job that requires little 'expertise' and most good experienced qualified members, after 15-20 years experience, will be able to get a much more advanced/specialised job.

My advice if you want to earn more money is to specialise in an area - i.e. forecasting, modelling, reporting - whatever interests you. Then find a job looking for these specialised skills.

Stop blaming CIMA and the number of other accountants and start working on improving your own CV and improving your interview technique. You've worked hard to pass all of the exams so don't give up working hard now and expect everything to be on a plate!

Value Added

I strongly suspect a fair proportion of newly quals could have built up to a £35k salary in another career during the travel time to CIMA qualification and avoided much of the stress and expense of exams. Basically, the “value added” by the CIMA qualification seems fairly negligible at the moment. If anything, post qualification salaries and study support tend to be used as justification for low training salaries. 

Is CIMA really necessary in that case? I think a lot of accountants (I certainly do!) hold the view that most learning is “on the job” and actually a large proportion of what is learnt in exams is never used. I always thought the purpose of professional exams was to be “restrictive”. It separates out the best, brightest and most determined and ultimately justifies the higher salary. The whole point of CIMA was to improve my CV! 

I’m of the opinion that CIMA should be focusing more effort on delivering greater technical skills and making the exams slightly harder. I’d prefer to put in 300 study hours and have something worthwhile than put in 200 study hours and find that a potential employer still doesn’t get enough information to distinguish between hundreds of candidates and my entire effort be wasted. There seems to be far too much focus on "expansion" to compete with ACCA instead. 

The actuarial profession has a similar influx of entry levels, but doesn’t have the same downwards wage pressure. Basically, lots of people are lured in by the potential earnings and most (I’ve heard it may be as high 95%) get kicked so hard by the exam process they never make it to fully qual. Those that do take about 7/8 years and they’ve earned their salary.  

Don't listen to agents

I have talked to agents throughout my career and they always start out by saying that the economy is in the state of a recession (they've been saying that for about 4 years now - the full span of my career in which I've changed jobs with a corresponding massive hike in promotion and salary - I would never have managed that in a recession).

 My advice when dealing with agents is to find ones that specialise in placing accounting candidates, often it is also about the relationship you build with the agent and you can often judge which ones are good or not. Don't waste your time with the ones that aren't i.e the ones that give you excuses such as the economy being in a recession etc.. you want ones who recognise your strengths and can place you in the right job - and that doesn't depend on the state of the economy..it never will.

 I have always believed in my market worth and aimed higher than what I know I will realistically get. For example if you wanted to end up at 40k, you should ask for 50k - remember you never know what your employer /future employer values you at , and chances are they will value you higher than you value yourself if they think you are the right candidate.

 

Wish you all the best and don't give up.